I’m pretty happy with this post which I wrote back in December! Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal wrote a very similar post on April 14. You can read it by clicking HERE and see how it is similar to mine! I’m NOT saying mine is better but it’s the same story I covered months earlier which I am proud of!
The Colorado Rockies had the second overall pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft which capped off the 2014 annual winter meetings Thursday. The Oakland A’s, slated to pick later in the draft, saw something they wanted and knew how to get it.
The Rockies had long coveted A’s Class-A closer Austin House and had the second pick in the draft. The A’s wanted Mark Canha, a power-hitting jack of all trades kind of player, but were afraid that if they waited until their turn was up the first baseman/outfielder/third baseman would have already been claimed.
The A’s offered House to the Rockies in exchange for them drafting Cash second overall, a deal they happily accepted.
Canha was taken by Colorado off the roster of the Miami Marlins. Minor league players who are not on a teams 40-man roster at this point are eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5 draft.
They are drafted for $50,000 and must remain on their new teams 25-man roster for the entire season. They cannot be sent down or released by their new club, if taken off of the 25-man roster the player must be returned to their original team along with $25,000. Such are the rules of the Rule 5 draft.
Canha is an exciting and powerful hitter that could prove to be very useful for the A’s. A former Cal player and teammate of new A’s shortstop Marcus Semien, Canha hit .303/.384/.505 at Triple-A New Orleans last season. He hit 20 home runs, 28 doubles and drove in 84 runs in 2014.
Canha has speed, power, the ability to get on base and the potential to be an exciting player that A’s fans will want to embrace in 2015.
With Brett Lawrie now playing third the A’s plan to primarily use Canha in the outfield and at first but if Lawrie ever needs a day off Canha will be there to back him up.
One notable rule five player that most Athletics’ fans will know is one of the A’s first baseman, Nate Freiman, who Oakland got in the 2012 Rule 5 draft. Freiman was a big (and not just because he is 6 feet 8 inches tall, although he is!) asset for the Athletics in 2013.
In an 18-inning marathon against the New York Yankees on a Thursday afternoon that had already turned into evening the Yankees brought in their famed closer, Mariano Rivera, in what would be his the final appearance of his career at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland.
Freiman stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit one of Rivera’s famously un-hittable cutters. It was a broken bat walk-off single that scored John Jaso from third, leading the A’s to a 3-2 win and a three-game sweep of the Yankees.
It was definitely one for the books and something I won’t ever forget. Ballparks should really keep their consession stands open during extra innings, especially when the fans are sitting through two full length games.
However that isn’t the point of the story. The point is that Rule 5 players can be diamonds in the rough.
Canha is one I personally am extremely excited about and can’t wait to see play when March finally arrives.
Quite frankly it is shocking that, considering his numbers, the Marlins didn’t put him on their roster to save him from the Rule 5 draft.
Their loss is the A’s gain in this case. Canha will be a welcome addition to the A’s roster and can hopefully deliver some much needed offensive power and speed for Oakland.
The A’s chose not to select a player, having already gotten who they wanted, with their 23rd pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft.